David Koch (1940-2019)

“If we’re going to give a lot of money, we’ll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And it they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with we withdraw funding. We do exert that kind of control.”
Executive Vice President

David H. Koch (born in 1940, died in 2019) is Executive Vice-President of Koch Industries, and the CEO of the subsidiary Koch Chemical Technology Group.

David Koch was tied with his brother Charles as the 6th wealthiest person in the World according to Forbes, estimating their weath at $41.3 billion each. Bloomberg estimates David Koch's wealth exceeds $52 billion. David Koch is the richest person living in New York City ahead of former mayor Michael Bloomberg. In addition to his Park Avenue residence, he has homes in Aspen, CO; Southampton, NY; and Palm Beach, FL. At the time of his death, David Koch's real estate was estimated at $143 million by Business Insider. Though he donated millions to conservative, libertarian organizations, David Koch garnered public attention for his non-political philanthropy.

Regarding a $100 million naming gift to the New York City Opera and Ballet, Koch explained “I could afford it.… And, of course, there are beautiful girls.” A few of his namesakes include the new David H. Koch Theater at New York’s Lincoln Center, the David H. Koch Dinosaur Wing in New York’s American Natural History Museum, and the David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins at Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum in Washington D.C.

David Koch was the 1980 Vice Presidential candidate for the anti-regulatory Libertarian Party. David Koch served on the Board of Directors for the Cato Institute and Reason Foundation, two think-tanks that have dismissed climate science and fought against policy solutions to the problem.  Koch was founding member and Chairman of the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, an astroturf group that opposes climate solutions and clean energy.

Sourced from Greenpeace




“If we’re going to give a lot of money, we’ll make darn sure they spend it in a way that goes along with our intent. And it they make a wrong turn and start doing things we don't agree with we withdraw funding. We do exert that kind of control.”

-Interview with Brian Doherty, as quoted in a Mises Institute review of Radicals for Capitalism, 2007.

“You might ask: How does David Koch happen to have the wealth to be so generous? Well, let me tell you a story. It all started when I was a little boy. One day, my father gave me an apple. I soon sold it for five dollars and bought two apples and sold them for ten. Then I bought four apples and sold them for twenty. Well, this went on day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, until my father died and left me three hundred million dollars!”

-The New Yorker, August 30, 2010


“Sometimes I feel like a beautiful girl, saying, ‘God! Does every guy that goes out with me just want to sleep with me? Don’t they like me for my personality?’ ”

“I’ve never been to a tea-party event. No one representing the tea party has ever even approached me”

"I felt that the good Lord spared my life for a purpose. And since then, I’ve been busy doing all the good works I can think of.”

“The Earth will be able to support enormously more people because a far greater land area will be available to produce food [due to global warming].”

-New York Magazine, July 25, 2010


See PolluterWatch's profile of Koch Industries for information on its pollution record, political spending, and financing of campaigns against climate change and clean energy policies. See Greenpeace's factsheet for Koch Facts.

Front Groups Defending Oil Industry Political Favoritism

David Koch worked behind the scenes during the 2010 “Rally for Jobs” astroturf events, coordinated by the American Petroleum Institute, in order to create political pressure against clean energy and climate legislation in the interest of the oil and gas industry. Groups such as Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks, which are heavily funded by the Koch brothers and were founded by David Koch, were partner organizations in promoting the rallies.

Koch Industries has a long record of environmental crimes and violations, spends millions on lobbyists to fight climate and energy legislation, millions more on backing industry-friendly politicians, and still more millions on organizations denying climate change. Foundations linked to Koch Industries have spent over $70 million in traceable contributions to the same network of organizations, with addition untraceable funding funnelled through organizations like Donors Trust. Key Koch-backed organizations include the Americans for Prosperity Foundation, which was founded and remains chaired by David Koch, the Cato Institute, which Charles Koch co-founded and David Koch remains a board member after an attempted coup, and the Reason Foundation, of which David Koch is a trustee. Most of the climate change denying organizations funded by the Kochs are members of the State Policy Network.

Formaldehyde and Cancer

While David Koch was a victim of prostate cancer, he donated hundreds of millions of dollars to cancer research institutions and is a member of the National Cancer Advisory Board, Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific is actively working to downplay the dangers of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen.

Mitt Romney Fundraiser

David Koch had ties to Mitt Romney, hosting a fundraiser for the Massachusettes politician at his Southhampton mansion in New York

David Koch Confronted on Camera

While at ThinkProgress, blogger Lee Fang shot a series of short on-the-spot interviews with David Koch, getting Koch's opinion on global warming, his ambitions for Americans for Prosperity, and refusing to discuss the Supreme Court's ruling on the 2010 Citizens United v. FEC case:

Approached by Greenpeace activists at the Americans for Prosperity Defending the American Dream 2011 conference, David Koch was handed a wanted poster featuring his face, citing his funding of groups that deny the science of climate change and policy solutions to global warming. David Koch didn't comment on his opinion regarding climate change being beneficial for people, when Greenpeace cited a study funded by the Charles Koch foundation that corrorborated evidence of global warming.